What educators in the USA say about Phonic Books

What educators in the USA are saying our books

Towards our visit to the USA to the IDA conference in November, we have asked some of the educators using our books their students in the USA to tell us what they think about them. Here are some responses:

“Despite the fact that Ravinia Reading Center is home to a literal vault of decodable text, my staff and I keep reaching for the Phonics Books. The speech-language pathologist in me greatly appreciates how the books are organized by phoneme. And I am a pragmatist after all and these are the first decodable readers in my experience that students honestly enjoy. Sixth grader Louis, for example, is currently relishing the Magic Belt Series. A student who formerly disliked reading, now he begs to see the back of each book jacket to see what title is coming up next. He loves the gross monsters and is particularly looking forward to the book where the protagonist discovers a gem hiding in a pile of dung. He is learning to read and loving every minute of it. Thanks Phonics Books for making all of our jobs easier!” Holly A. Shapiro, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Ravinia Reading Center, Illinois, USA

“I am a member of an Orton-Gillingham tutoring forum in America, and this is how I discovered Magic Belt … Remembering the day that my son, Nate, sneaked Magic Belt books still brings tears to my eyes. Before Magic Belt, the only books that I could find for my son to read narrated the mundane adventures of a rat or a cat with a hat. He would read for practice, but not for enjoyment by any means. Magic Belt gave us an enchanted rat following lads on a quest for magic gems, with an interesting story line that continued over twelve books, with very cool illustrations in the style of a graphic novel. That made all the difference for Nate. He became a book lover because of Magic Belt, so those books are very special to me and worth every penny that it took for us to have them shipped from across the sea. It takes a rare talent to write a decent story using controlled text. Please extend my heartfelt gratitude to your son for his work. All of my students, especially my son, are enthusiastic about his work as well, and we will all look forward to reading the series to come.” Melanie McAfee, McAfee Reading and Spelling Company, Orton Gillingham based intervention, America

“I am a synthetic phonics tutor, in and out of a school setting, in the United States. I have purchased several series from Phonic Books, which I have had shipped to me all the way from England. The teaching of the alphabetic code is more thorough than is the case with most decodables available in the U.S. The language is richer. And the books have wonderfully engaging story-lines … While the instructional quality of the books is most important to me, the fact that my students love the books is a huge bonus. On many occasions, I have had students eagerly ask me as soon as they see me, “Have you brought the next book?!” For some, a Talisman book is the first book the child has ever read with great excitement. I have the Dandelion Readers, both Talisman series, and the Split Vowel series. I am eyeing the Alba series for my next overseas order! I eagerly await the day that the Phonic Books series are distributed in the United States. The U.S. is in need of quality beginners’ books that do not encourage guessing from pictures and first letters, of books that teach children decoding skills. I feel certain that American children would become stronger readers, and at a faster pace, if these books were in classrooms, homes, and libraries across the country.” Jennie Smith-Brock, Maine, USA

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